Interesting article - especially the "no offensive moves" idea. I wonder how somone learns to effectively defend him/herself without any
Last time I checked we practiced offensive moves. The simplest ones to be found are the atemi waza (which don't necessarily have to mean "striking" either).
From my experience folks don't actually need a whole year of training twice a week to be effective in "defending oneself long enough to run away" with Aikido (or at least the one I do). It's all about what techniques are selected, how many techniques (hopefully not more than 3 or so), how effectively they are taught and practiced and the methods of getting it drilled into reflexive action while under attack by a determined, resisting aggressor over a relatively short period of time. It's all about targeted training imo.
Otherwise it's a pretty good article. Good to see the folks in that side of the world getting some media coverage.